Mustaches & Ties: A Little Man Party

As with all my party inspiration, the idea for Luke’s fourth birthday came from a sweet deal on Cyber Monday, last November. What can I say? Inspiration hits me early. Couple that with the fact Luke doesn’t really care about the theme for his party, he just wants to see his friends and eat candy.

I bought the Little Man printable collection from The TomKat Studio for half off, set up my Little Man board on Pinterest and enjoyed the holidays and four other birthday parties: Harry Potter, Avengers, Owls and Rainbows. To be honest, I did some mad pinning a few weeks before the party and finally got serious four days before. It could’ve had something to do with Luke’s brain surgery six weeks prior…

Anyhoodle, I had a really great time putting this together for the coolest little man in the house, our preemie!

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The colors from the printable collection – orange, brown and blue – along with that mustache graphic became the inspiration for the party. I think I’m still dreaming about ‘staches.

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The Food/Dessert Table
We prepared Manwiches, Maneater Munchies (cheese balls), Chocolate Cigars (pretzel rods dipped in chocolate) and Drink Up Mister! blue Koolaid. For treats, the boys enjoyed cake pops and cupcakes made by the always talented Polkadots.

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Three- and four-year-old’s aren’t known for super long attention spans. Plus, we had some older siblings who tagged along, so I tried to keep the activities fun, simple and a mix of outside/inside. Of course, one should always account for “the kids don’t give a rat’s tail, all they want to do is run around outside” factor. I think we managed to do a little of both.

First up? Match the ‘Stache. The original plan was to add magnets to the back of the mustaches, but momma ran out of time. To 4yo’s I’m not sure it really mattered. They did a great job matching them all while the moms tried to figure out which ‘stache belonged to which celebrity. I laminated the sheet and put the mustaches in a bag for the boys to take home. For a balmy 95-degree day, this was a nice, quiet, indoor activity.

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Hat tip to the Iowa Farmer’s Wife for the general instructions.

The boys were itching to go outside, so off to the surface of sun we trotted. Lawnmower Races anyone? I will say there were a *few* races, but mostly it was just boys running around like crazy with a lawnmower. Whatever. They had fun. I recycled the yard stake from Clare’s candy party last year (repainted it orange) and bought the lawnmowers from Amazon. Those things will be hours of entertainment for my three boys this fall.

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Everyone was still digging sweating, so we pulled out a family favorite: Pin the Mustache on Luke. If you’ve been following my parties for any length of time, you know this is my go-to party. The classics never die, people. Even the big kids were lining up to play. I took a photo of Luke earlier in the week, did a little magic in Photoshop with words, and then sent it off to Walgreens to enlarge. I took the enlargement, taped it to foam core and cut it down to size. Voila.

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I could see the troops starting to fade so we ┬áheaded indoors for a little mustache making, Make Your Own ‘Stache. In case you’re wondering, I attached the labels to straws with some double stick tape and inserted them into a Ball jar filled with sixtlets. Functional and edible.

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Hat tip to Make and Takes for the tutorial and idea.

Finally, the boys let it be known it was time to eat. Enough with the games, mom, let’s get to the chow. They destroyed the dessert table in less than five minutes, but I always say that’s the sign of a good party. After we sang a little “Happy Birthday To You,” we headed back outside for a little pinata beating.

Let me just say this part of the party almost didn’t happen. I slightly underestimated how much work it would be to make my own pinata. Sometimes Pinterest lies. After 15 good whacks it didn’t matter anymore. The candy was out and the kids were in heaven. Next time, I’m buying the dang thing.

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For party favors, I sent the boys home with mustache erasers, a mug/cereal/ice cream bowl adorned with a mustache and a cookie of their choice. For the mugs, I used a glass marker and then baked the mugs according to the package instructions to set the mustache. Crafts by Amanda had a great tutorial.

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mustache erasers

Image courtesy of World Market

And, we couldn’t end a spectacular bash without a little “Happy Birthday” singing.

It was right after we sang, when Luke took a bite of the cupcake and licked the icing off his mouth, that I teared up. That’s when it hit me. Two years ago he nearly threw up all over the table when he SAW the icing on the cake. We’ve come a long way, baby. While Luke carries the preemie title, he doesn’t let it define him. We celebrated with some beautiful families who have walked in the same NICU path and it was such an honor to have them all there.

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Happy fourth birthday, Luke.
You’re the best thing that ever happened to our family.

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Vendor Credits
Printables/straws/plastic jars/favor bags/wooden spoons: The TomKat Studio
Mustache erasers and stackable mugs: World Market
Cake pops/cupcakes/cookies: Polkadots
Mustache shirt: Old Navy
Birthday plate: Olliegraphic

You can relive all our birthdays over on my Parties page. Sadly, the leftover cake is all gone.


  1. Michelle F. on September 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I so wish I had your talent in this area! You did an amazing job, and what a creative idea for a little boy!

  2. Nicole on September 19, 2013 at 8:44 am

    What fun! Seeing how it all came together was great. I love the family picture at the end (including the shinguards and the mustache that Luke is still putting up on his lip).

    And can I respond to your post (was it last week) about people going overboard with parties? I see a well-planned, fun, at-home party for a cute little 4 yr old boy, thrown by a momma and family that love him. What you did here isn’t over-the-top or expensive or outrageous. I think back to parties pre-pinterest, and you did what we did then. A couple of games? check! A few treats? check! Favor bag? check! Happy birthday song? check! You succeeded because you stuck with a theme and color scheme, planned ahead (November?!), and have mad photo skills and a blog to document it and share with us. Well done, Kathryn! I know it’s better than I could have done (although I do my best). I love all of it.

  3. Dianna on September 19, 2013 at 9:05 am


    Awesome job, as always! Everything looks beautiful, and my most favorite of all? Your pics of your older children with Luke. Their love for him shines through. Good job, momma. Now go take a well deserved nap after that hard work!

  4. verdinalouisa on September 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Once again (for the umteenth time) you totally amaze me. Your kids and their friends are so blessed to be able to take part in your amazing parties. It’s obvious that a lot of love is incorporated into your parties as in everything you do.
    God bless!

  5. Amanda on September 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Oh my gosh, what fun! All of your ideas are wonderful ­čÖé I’ll feature this party on Fun Family Crafts, and thank you for linking to my mustache mugs. Yours came out so cute!

  6. 7 Quick Takes: A Wing and a Prayer on January 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    […] of birthdays, we had a grand celebration last Friday. Luke’s actual birthday was this Wednesday. Of course, it has become birthday week. […]

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  9. […] here at Casa Whitaker, whether it’s a cherry on a cupcake, a butterfly on an Eiffel Tower, a mustache on the birthday boy or a cloud on a rainbow. It is my go-to party game. Hat tip to my second oldest son for drawing a […]

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